Saturday, April 11, 2009


My favorite hymn of all time, hands down, is "Christ the Lord is Risen Today." These are the lyrics:

Christ the Lord is risen today, Alleluia! Sons of men and angels say, Alleluia! Raise your joys and triumphs high, Alleluia! Sing, ye heavens, and earth reply, Alleluia!

Love's redeeming work is done, Alleluia! Fought the fight, the battle won, Alleluia! Death in vain forbids him rise, Alleluia! Christ has opened paradise, Alleluia!

Lives again our glorious King, Alleluia! Where, O death, is now thy sting? Alleluia! Once he died our souls to save, Alleluia! Where's thy victory, boasting grave? Alleluia!

Soar we now where Christ has led, Alleluia! Following our exalted Head, Alleluia! Made like him, like him we rise, Alleluia! Ours the cross, the grave, the skies, Alleluia!

Some of the most wonderful memories from my childhood are from Easter Sundays in the Methodist Church my family attended, pipe organ being played full blast, sometimes a brass ensemble as well, accompanying choir and congregation singing these glorious words. I want it sung at my funeral.

It may or may not be sung tomorrow at the church of which I am now a part. If it is, it will be with electronic music that will not hold a candle to the more natural organ and brass, and it will probably be a more "modern" version, but I will still relish the words, which so beautifully -- yet simply -- tell the story of redemption that is the heart and soul of the Christian faith.

There is plenty of room at the table, in my opinion, for those who profess Christ as Savior. We come to Him in different ways. We can debate inerrancy of Scripture, reform theology, millenialism and on and on . . . and we will still arrive at different conclusions. And I am comfortable with that.

But the resurrection is one of those non-negotiables for me. As Wesley so eloquently put it, "Made like Him, like Him we rise." No room for any further discussion or interpretation there. The ultimate triumph, the resurrection, is what seals the deal.

There is a modern/contemporary song that I also love (though not nearly as much as "Christ the Lord") that also captures the redemption story. Titled "I Know My Redeemer Lives," the words are as follows:

Who taught the sun where to stand in the morning? and Who told the ocean you can only come this far? And Who showed the moon where to hide 'til evening? Whose words alone can catch a falling star?

Well I know my Redeemer lives. I know my Redeemer lives: All of creation testifies, This life within me cries, I know my Redeemer lives.

The very same God that spins things in orbit runs to the weary, the worn and the weak. And the same gentle hands that hold me when I'm broken, they conquered death to bring me victory.

Now I know my Redeemer lives. I know my Redeemer lives. Let all creation testify, Let this life within we cry, I know my Redeemer.

He livesTo take away my shame. And He lives forever, I'll proclaim, that the payment for my sin Was the precious life He gave. But now He's alive and There's an empty grave.

Wow. My Redeemer lives. Made like Him, like Him we rise. Is that good news or what? Alleluia!


Steve H. said...

Good post Bob! I love that hymm as well. I'm with you to on the Resurrection. I'm always amazed by people that insist to me they are Christians...but deny the resurrection??? Paul the APostle said if Christ didn't rise, we are only fit to be pitied.

But for me, He is Risen Indeed!!

Happy Easter new Friend!!

Pam said...

I've gone around the house humming or singing it all day.

My grandsons have asked me to tone it down quite a few times.... :)

Kelly said...

After reading this post I immediately brought up my iTunes so I could listen to Nicole C. Mullen's version of "Redeemer". Beautiful!!

One of the advantages of working on the church website is getting a sneak peek at the bulletin each week. So... I know "Christ the LORD is Risen Today" (with the Arkansas Brass) is on the agenda. It's one of those hymns that literally brings tears to my eyes. I'll think of you tomorrow as we sing.

Happy Easter, Bob!

Pencil Writer said...

Great post! Christ the Lord is Risen Today is also one of MY favorite Easter hymns, too. And I'm with you and Steve H. I'm confused when someone says they're Christian and yet they don't believe in the Resurrection. Guess we all have to work on areas of our understanding?

I don't know the second hymn, but it made me think of another of my favorites, of nearly the same name. May I share?

I Know That My Redeemer Lives
(Same theme, eh?)

"I know that my Redeemer lives. What comfort this sweet sentence gives! He lives, he lives, who once was dead. He lives, my ever living Head. He lives to bless me with his love. He lives to plead for me above. He lives my hungry soul to feed. He lives to bless in time of need.

"He lives to grant me rich supply. He lives to guide me with his eye. He lives to comfort me when faint. He lives to hear my soul's complaint. He lives to silence all my fears. He lives to wipe away my tears. He lives to calm my troubled heart. He lives all blessings to impart."

There are two more wonderful verses, but I don't want to seem like I'm trying to take over you post.

I'm just happy--grateful--that others share a deep faith in the Resurrection of Christ (and the rest of us, in due course) and share that with others. Thanks, BOB!